While many of my poems are based on completely fictitious circumstances or scenarios, albeit often with a “projected I” in the balance, FORGIVENESS reflects an actual incident employed here as a metaphor for the ephemeral nature of poetry and the elusiveness of language. Fact is, I was, indeed, writing a poem about forgiveness when my pen leaked ink profusely into my hands. My upset and sense of disruption to my writing process was soon replaced with the realization that the incident epitomized both how easily language and the right words can be lost or leaked out, as well as how suddenly we can be asked to forgive. The ink from my leaky pen certainly seemed “ebony and venomous” to me at the time, as if the poem I was writing had emptied on to “my darkened hands.” That’s how easily words elude us sometimes. It’s why too often we say the wrong things or nothing at all. Like the poem I was writing, we can find ourselves left with nothing to say, staring down the “laughter of escaped language.” And for the poet or writer, we all recognize how quickly a phrase may come and then be lost in the fog of the moment. Hence, the miracle of the omnipresent notebook or, these days, the Notes app on our mobiles.
The poem also presents the universal dilemma of forgiveness. When and under what circumstances do we forgive? Can I forgive the pen for its “heinous act/of literary treason”?….. The poem’s a bit light-hearted, maybe tongue-in-cheek, but it presents in microcosm circumstances that all of us, and particularly writers and poets, encounter on a daily basis.
Yours In Poetry,